Monday, April 21, 1913
Capt. Torrey Near Drowned
Ill and 70, He Clung Long to Overturned Boat in Harbor
Rescued by George Whiting Who Saw Accident From WharfHeavy
Blow Nearly Wrecked Sch. Smith Tuttle and Sloop Whip
Capt. King and Life Saving Crew Saved Both Crafts
The heavy gale from the northwest which about 1
oclock Saturday afternoon commenced to assume some definite proportions and
continued in its fury most of yesterday beside nearly costing the life of a captain in the
harbor kept the Dollivers Neck lifesaving crew busy for several hours, during which
they performed valuable service in rescuing the sloop Whip which
threatened to drag ashore at Hawthorne Inn and later the coasting sch. Smith
Tuttle which fared badly in the heavy blow. Both crafts were towed into the
inner harbor for safety by the stations power boat and escaped more serious results
if not destruction from the gale.
Capt. George A. Torrey 70 years old,
master of the three-masted sch. John S. Beachman of Virginia had
about as close a call for his life as he ever wants to experience again. Saturday
afternoon when he was upset in a yawl in the outer harbor by a heavy squall which struck
the little boat.
Capt. Torrey came in here for harbor
Friday evening while bound from Sullivan, Me., to New York with paving. He was suffering
with a severe cold and had been ashore for medicine Saturday afternoon, after which he
started to return on board again. The small yawl boat in which he sailed carried a light
sail and was coming along pretty well, when near the spindle a sudden flaw caught the sail
and threw her down on her port side and hove the captain into the water.
As Capt. Torrey went over several pieces
of paving used as ballast shifted and with the canvas in the water, the captain was unable
to right her again. There was nothing left for him to do but cling on to the starboard
gunwale, with his body submerged to his neck. For nearly a half hour he hung on and he
surely would have drowned had it not been for the timely presence of George
Whiting, an employee of the American Halibut Company at their Boston branch, who
from the wharf, seeing Capt. Torreys predicament put out in a dory
and rescued him.
The captain was pretty well used up and was rowed ashore
and hustled to the police station where his wet clothing was removed and he was wrapped in
warm blankets. In the meanwhile Capt. Nelson A. King was notified and
brought some warm clothes from the Dollivers Neck life saving station.
After Capt. Torrey had recovered from his
icy bath he was taken on board his craft by Capt. King. Yesterday the
coaster proceeded on her journey, Capt. Torrey evidently having suffered
no ill effects from his exciting experience.
The Whip owned by the Beverly
Lightening Company came here Saturday to clean up the rocks at Ten Pound Island ledge,
where the government has been at work recently and in the afternoon started outside with a
breeze from southwest. Suddenly the wind hauled around to the northwest in a heavy squall
and it commenced to blow so violently that the Whip was unable
to make any headway but was nosed about and carried towards the East Gloucester shore.
George W. Bailey of Ten Pound Island light
was returning from Eastern Point light in a small power boat and noticed the predicament
of the Whip. He immediately set his course to the rescue and
arrived alongside of the sloop rapidly drifting with a small kedge dragging astern. Keeper
Bailey tried to take the sloop in tow although the little
three-horse-power engine made a heroic effort to pull the craft along, it was without
success and Mr. Bailey decided to hasten ashore and summon assistance.
With all possible speed he arrived on the island and Capt. Nelson
A. King and his craft were soon on their way from Fresh Water Cove to the aid of
the drifting craft. Mr. Bailey returned to the scene and with the
life-saving crew went alongside of the Whip again. Assistance
came none too soon however, for the sloop was not more than 100 yards from the rocks at
Hawthorne Inn, when a line was got to her bow, and life-saving power boat commenced to
pull her away from the shore to a place of safety.
Several of the crew aboard at the time were prepared for
the emergency. One of them had his suite case packed, ready to jump ashore as soon as the
Capt. King towed the craft into the inner
harbor where she was safely moored at the pier of the Gloucester Gas Light Company.
The two-masted coasting sch. Smith Tuttle
had a bad time of it Saturday afternoon and evening and after several hours of being
buffeted about on the seas during which the craft commenced to leak and was badly damaged,
the Dollivers Neck life-saving crew brought her into the harbor about 3 oclock
yesterday morning. The Tuttle has recently been sold to Capt. Alfred
Cosgrove of Calais, Me., who with one lone man for his crew left Boston Saturday
morning for the vessels new home port.
During the early part of the afternoon, the craft ran into
the heaviest of the squall but continued along as far as Thatchers Island, when it
blew so hard that the coaster commenced to leak. Heavy seas swept her decks and during the
blow the jib was carried away, her bobstay parted, her foreboom and gaff were smashed
besides stem started and other damage forward. In vain the craft tried to make harbor here
but was unsuccessful and finally anchored under the lee of the Sherman cottage at Bass
Rocks where she set signals of distress.
Three of the crew of the Rockport life-saving station came
up and boarded her but were unable to do anything. They suggested that a revenue cutter be
summoned. The craft fortunately hung to her anchor all the time and early in the evening a
message was sent to the Dollivers Neck station that the craft was still there and
Capt. King and crew started out in the big power boat arriving alongside
in due time.
They boarded the craft, and after putting out another
anchor remained by until after midnight when the breeze moderated, and then started to tow
the coaster to harbor. It was a long and tedious journey in view of the fact that power
boat is not equipped for towing purposes. Some of the crew remained on board the vessel
and took charge of what was left of the sails and with the aid of the power boat, she
worked along very well. About 3 oclock yesterday afternoon Capt. King
and his tow arrived in the inner harbor and anchored in the "Deep Hole".
It will be several days before the Tuttle will
be able to proceed as it will be necessary to make extensive repairs on account of the
serous damage she received.